The former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning was sent to jail Friday for refusing to answer questions relating to WikiLeaks 2010 disclosures at a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia. She has been remanded into federal custody and is made to remain confined until she testifies or until the end of the life of the grand jury.
Actually refusing to comply with a grand jury subpoena has nothing to do with freedom of speech and the First Amendment. Sure she can say that she doesn’t agree with it but Manning must comply and obviously is suffering the consequences. The only Constitutional amendment that applies to a grand jury testimony is a witness being able to invoke the 5th Amendment to protect themselves from self-incrimination. This is what happens when people don’t know how their government works.
She was convicted under the Espionage Act, the same laws used to jail Eugene Debs, and a direct assault on freedom of speech. Time for the this and the Patriot Act to be repealed; the grand jury system needs to be reformed or eliminated as it has led to too much prosecutorial abuse.
You are wrong. She did comply with the subpoena in that she showed up for the grand jury. She has chosen to be a political prisoner and stand on principle rather than answer questions that are already in her court martial record. Manning, Reality Winner, John Kiriakou, Julian Assange and Eric Snowden know full well how the US government works as they have suffered from the full weight of governmental abuse.
Our Democracy is indeed dying, and it would seem that the United States Department of Justice is intent on insuring it is never allowed to be put on life support.
This is a secret jury and the laws around it are not just. That’s Manning’s point. And yes, it has directly to do with Freedom of the Press and speech. If you step aside from the little rules and regulations that were made to suppress transparency.
You misunderstand Manning. She is not “paying a price” as you put it. Her message, since her first public act, has more or less been within the lines of the duty of civil disobedience to unjustice…in Thoreau’s words…“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison”